People tell me this quite a bit: "I love that book, the problem is applying it."
Well, my answer to that is the application is everything. Loving the book is nothing.
It isn't how many books you read, it's how many you apply. You are better off, therefore, reading one book four times than reading four books one time each. Most people try to accumulate knowledge.
But it doesn't accumulate, it makes you fat and paralyzed. A friend recently told me of 100 books to read.
Rather tell me the ONE BOOK I should read 100 times. The difference is between a life that is changed, and a life that is weighed down with heavy immobilizing knowledge.
Because we can sit and ponder philosophical concepts forever and it won't help our lives. What really helps is to test things, experiment, try things out and take all these concepts, take the conceptual excitement and put it into IMMEDIATE ACTION!
A lot of times, a fire starts internally when I read something (like Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do) and it starts in my mind and in my heart and I get all excited. Then what I always want to do after that is put some kind of process in place where I monitor myself to make sure I'm going to do some application.
So, in a funny way, when somebody says "I have a problem with application," my answer is, well, then do more application.
There's really no problem, unless you're being hypnotized by circumstance. Let's say I read a book about Bruce Lee and exercise and I get real excited and it says that if a person takes ten thousand steps a day, their blood pressure… all these biomarkers (or vital markers?) improve … they're going to live 10 years longer and have a better quality life than the average person who only takes three thousand steps a day. Now, I read about that, the fire starts inside me and I think that would be fun, that would be great, I need to do that. I'm starting to get excited. But application is everything here.
So, I buy a pedometer, I put a chart on my wall and I start tracking how many steps I take each day. How long is it going to take me to find a way to get to ten thousand and I create a game around it but I do some tracking and I keep score.
Not because I need to be a competitive alpha male winner but because the game element has a funny paradoxical effect on human beings. Number one, it introduces accountability (because you're counting things,) which is really needed. That's why people don't apply, there's no accountability. But, on the other hand, it counter balances that with a game element.
So, for example, in charting how many steps I take, I had a little game that I would take more steps in December than I took in November. So, I played a game called 'Me in December versus Me in November' and I found out one morning that I won. It's over. I can take a knee, the game's over, I've beat my last month's number!
The game element in anything that you put into application adds a wonderful sense of play. You've got accountability, there's a scoreboard, and you also have a sense of gamesmanship, like it's fun, and I'm winning. That's true for anything. Not just physical exercise.
It's really true for people who sell or market their services. The minute they start accounting for how much time they put into sales and marketing, their sales and marketing results get better.
So, that's why the person who says I have a hard time applying, my answer is that's because you're not applying. That's why you have a hard time applying.
If somebody says, "I just joined a new health club but the problem is I have a hard time getting myself to go." My answer would be, well, go. Go to the club.
See why I get paid for coaching people? I always have the answer.
There isn't really a lot in between wanting to go to the club and going to the club. We think there's a lot between those two things, but we are wrong, and we pay a terrible price for that miscalculation. We put illusive barriers between wanting it and doing it, and that's where the hypnosis of circumstance comes in.
Recently a guy said to me, "I broke up with my girlfriend and therefore I haven't worked out in a month. I just haven't felt like it. I've been depressed."
Well, okay, here's the circumstance: I'm no longer with this person! I give a lot of meaning to that. I make that mean that I can't make a relationship work or I've been betrayed. I add a lot of meaning and now I'm hypnotized by a circumstance and the hypnosis keeps me from applying anything.
Therefore I want to watch out for being hypnotized by circumstance.
If there were an evil hypnotist on the loose in town and everyone said "Watch out for him because if he sees you, he's going to wave this little crystal in front of your eyes and hypnotize you and make you do things you don't want to do." If you saw that person coming, you would avert your eyes or go to the other side of the street because you don't want to be hypnotized and made to do what you don't want to do.
But that's exactly what circumstance does to us, and we don't realize it. We just don't know we're being hypnotized by the circumstance and the meaning we give to it.
But once we can see, then we can break out of the hypnosis, clap our hands, (yell: "WIDE AWAKE!") and we're wide awake now, we're no longer under the spell of the breakup with the girlfriend, whatever it is that has hypnotized me into a state where I'm not applying anything. I'm not doing anything. I'm just meditating and brooding upon things.
That's why I believe coaching is such a powerful profession, because if you know you're going to go see your coach in a week and if you know that you and your coach agreed that you'd take certain actions this week to see how they turned out, you're going to make sure you take those actions because when you sit down with your coach again, you're going to be reporting in on how they worked. That's the beauty of coaching. It introduces the accountability, the game element and the word "coach" comes from sports, it doesn't come from any kind of psychological or spiritual field.
Once you see all of this you can become the DIRECTOR of the movie of your life. You choose your activity, and then you yell, "ACTION!"
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How to be a non-idiot
"All my life I've known only idiots. I define an idiot as a person
who makes less of himself than he could be by blaming his actions
on something, or someone, outside himself. The only non-idiot I've ever
known, the only person I've seen who exercised his abilities,
whether physical or intellectual, to the highest possible degree
is Bruce Lee."
~ Film director Stirling Silliphant
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